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Product stewardship & supply chain

Product stewardship & supply chain

Sustainable supplier management

Our suppliers around the world are a key part of the value that MTU adds. We have a shared goal: to work together as partners to achieve sustainable production. To govern these partnerships, we have defined the environmental and social criteria that are important to us.


We procure components, goods and services for our production and maintenance activities from suppliers based all over the world. We include the global supply chain in our sustainability activities.

The value added of an MTU product includes important pre-production stages at external suppliers. We seek to create reliable relationships with those suppliers based on mutual trust. In keeping with our claim of sustainable value creation and the expectations of our stakeholders, we uphold certain standards in purchasing. For us, the pursuit of sustainable supplier management (responsible sourcing) encompasses environmental and social aspects as well as transparency along the supply chain. Key sustainability requirements are mandatory for suppliers. We place the same standards as regards sustainability on the collaboration with our suppliers that we do on our own business activities. To a large extent, the same standards apply to both of MTU’s business segments: original equipment manufacturing (OEM; new commercial engines including spare parts) and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO; commercial engines). However, they each have their own organizational units for sourcing production material.

Because today’s supply chains are so global, extensive and complex, we concentrate our efforts regarding sustainability aspects on the supply step immediately upstream (tier 1). However, our direct suppliers are contractually obliged to ensure that their subcontractors also abide by our defined standards. In 2018, MTU worked with 6,983 suppliers around the world (2017: 6,521). The slight growth occurred in both the OEM and MRO business units across all regions. Europe is home to 83% of the suppliers, with 65.5% of the total number of suppliers located in Germany.

MTU suppliers 2018 by region


Supplier base for production material and non-production material for OEM (new commercial engines including spare parts) and MRO (commercial maintenance) segments EMEA = Europe (excluding Germany), the Middle East and Africa; Americas = North, Central and South America plus the Caribbean; Asia Pacific = East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania


The purchasing volume for production material in 2018 ran to some EUR 516 million for the OEM business (2017: EUR 476 million) and to just under EUR 1.9 billion for MRO (2017: EUR 1.5 billion). In 2018, we purchased non-production material to the tune of EUR 510 million for OEM and MRO combined (2017: EUR 447 million). By and large, we were able to source production and non-production material for the OEM business at our own discretion. By contrast, MRO purchasing volume for spare parts and repair work is subject to strict requirements imposed by the relevant OEMs. As a result, MTU Maintenance has less room for maneuver in selecting suppliers. The sole exception is MTU Maintenance Lease Services (MLS) in Amsterdam.

Purchasing volume 2018 by region (in EUR m)


Purchasing volume for OEM (new commercial engines including spare parts) and MRO (commercial maintenance) segments. EMEA = Europe (excluding Germany), the Middle East and Africa; Americas = North, Central and South America plus the Caribbean; Asia Pacific = East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania

Measured by purchasing volume, the Western Europe and North American markets, which are so important generally for the aviation industry, account for the lion’s share of MTU’s procurement. In our OEM business segment, we procure across the entire breadth of the supply chain, from blanks to finished parts. We always source castings and forgings externally, and the same goes for special materials for which MTU has not built up manufacturing expertise, such as electronic control systems. If possible, we source our supplies directly from the manufacturers of blanks or finished parts, whereby the company procures raw materials itself only to a small extent (→ Conflict minerals in raw material purchasing). For commercial engine modules, the average proportion of sourced parts lies between 48 and 69%.

Local value creation is particularly important when purchasing non-production material and services, as is the wide variety of goods and services. We procure non-production materials predominantly in the countries in which we operate. The local proportion of the purchasing budget (production and non-production material) was 22.4% in Germany and 9.9% in Poland. Overall, MTU sourced 20.5% of its entire purchasing volume from local suppliers.


Our contribution to the SDGs

We view our commitment to fair, global supply chains for our products through compulsory social standards as our contribution to SDG 8 on “Decent work and economic growth,” one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda. We also consider it an expression of our corporate social responsibility outside our factory walls. Through compliance requirements for suppliers, we also support SDG 16 on “Peace, justice and strong institutions,” a secondary objective of which calls for reducing corruption and bribery worldwide.

Decent work and economic growth
Peace, justice and strong institutions

→ Learn more about our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Setting sustainable standards in purchasing

We have established a binding Code of Conduct for Suppliers that is a fixed component of the contracts. The code is informed by the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and contains the following social and environmental standards: respecting internationally recognized human rights, observing the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) core labor standards, protecting the environment and combating corruption. Each contract signed by a supplier includes the commitment to abide by these principles and to communicate them to subcontractors. The Code of Conduct applies to suppliers of the European manufacturing sites and of MTU Maintenance Canada and MTU Aero Engines North America, and therefore to 75% of the Group reporting entity. Moreover, MTU’s General Terms and Conditions of Purchase also contain environmental, social and compliance stipulations. In our General Terms and Conditions of Purchase for our European sites, we also insist on compliance with the EU’s REACh chemicals regulation. → Human rights and conflict minerals in the supply chain 

To raise awareness of sustainability standards in the supply chain, we regularly provide purchasers with training on compliance matters and on the MTU Code of Conduct, which applies to all the company’s employees and prohibits corruption, bribery, the granting of undue advantage, and anti-competitive behavior. MTU purchasers are also trained on the Code of Conduct for Suppliers. In addition, we offer special corporate responsibility training, including some specifically intended for MTU purchasers.

Suspicions that the Code of Conduct for Suppliers may have been breached can be reported to MTU’s ombudsman. Should a supplier be implicated in charges of corruption, extortion, the granting of undue advantage or the use of child labor in the execution of a contract for MTU, the collaboration agreement will be terminated without notice. If other principles of the Code are violated, the supplier must demonstrate that suitable corrective measures have been initiated and implemented and must guarantee this in writing. MTU reserves the right to carry out on-site audits to verify compliance with the Code of Conduct. No accusations of possible breaches of the Code of Conduct were reported during the period under review. Nor were there any complaints about suppliers. In 2018, no cooperation was terminated because of sustainability deficiencies or other complaints.


Risk management and assessment

We believe partnerships based on trust are key to sustainable supplier management. For this reason, we seek out long-term relationships with our suppliers. In the OEM business unit for aircraft engines, for example, a large proportion of the materials and services is based on contracts with a typical term of two or more years. Contractually agreed buffer inventories allow us to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand. In the reporting year, MTU worked with 1,019 new suppliers (2017: 1,014), or 14.6% of the total (2017: 15.5%). All suppliers must be approved before being accepted into MTU’s supply chain. This process includes a binding supplier disclosure and contractual undertaking to comply with the Code of Conduct. MTU’s engine leasing business, Amsterdam-based MLS, has its own separate but similar process. To cover environmental aspects, we request proof of certification to standards such as ISO 14001. Using periodic evaluations, we regularly review existing suppliers, including with respect to their ISO 14001 certification. Last year, we carried out a total of 351 audits on all major suppliers, which included on-site inspections and interviews. Once approved, suppliers must regularly demonstrate their ISO 9001 compliance for quality management via re-certifications. → Our risk analysis of suppliers is presented in the chapter on human rights



Our plan is to integrate sustainability aspects into existing supplier audits for the OEM and MRO business. Preparations began in 2019.


More information about:
Code of Conduct for suppliers

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